The U.S. Department of Agriculture Women, Infants and Children (WIC) IT program will soon be releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide software enhancement services to the Successful Partners in Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT) IT system, which administers benefits to nearly half a million WIC participants around the country.
Additionally, an “Industry Day” will be held on July 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. CDT (12:00 noon EDT) via Webex, for companies interested in bidding on this proposal. Companies should register as soon as possible as space is limited. Attendance at the SPIRIT System Enhancement Industry Day is not a prerequisite to submit a proposal but is an important opportunity for potential bidders to ask questions.
More information and registration for the Industry Day and the solicitation can be found at:www.WICTechnologypartners.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2012
MO WIC Customer Service Manager
WIC Program Announces Key Opportunity for Software Enhancement Services
Strategic IT System Supports Women, Infants and Children Program
Jefferson City, MO, June 19, 2012 – The State of Missouri Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program today announced an opportunity to provide software enhancement services to the Successful Partners in Reaching Innovative Technology (SPIRIT) IT system, which supports nearly half a million WIC participants around the country.
The release of the draft Performance Work Statement (PWS) is expected in early July with a final Request for Proposal (RFP) expected in October. The State of Missouri WIC State agency (SA) is letting the contract on behalf of a number of SAs using or implementing SPIRIT to deliver WIC benefits. WIC is administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to provide supplemental food, nutrition education and referrals to healthcare for low-income women, infants and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.
SPIRIT is an on-line, real time, Web-based system, developed using Microsoft Smart Client technology. The application consists of high-level components including web and data base servers, remote/alternative communication methods, client workstations and peripherals. SPIRIT is a State Agency Model (SAM) resulting from an FNS initiative – at the request of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — to deploy management information systems to support multiple SAs. SPIRIT system development began in 2004 with implementation in 2007. Two additional SAMs are also in various stages of development and implementation.
The contract for software enhancement services will be performance-based with requirements for software development of new functionality, defect fixes, Level-3 support for source code related issues and support for new State agencies adopting SPIRIT. In addition, there is a requirement to support a SharePoint project collaboration site and a JIRA application for the management of issues and enhancements. Contractors responding to the RFP must provide a transition plan detailing how the Contractor will relocate the SPIRIT software from the incumbent contractor and assume responsibilities for the enhancement services. It is anticipated the contract award will be determined using a best value approach.
In its original configuration, the SPIRIT system had approximately 120 users supporting 13,000 participants in the WIC Program. Under the new contract, the number of users may grow to more than 3,500 and the number of participants served by the system will likely exceed 560,000.
“To support the growth of SPIRIT, we are looking for an experienced, dedicated and innovative company to provide system enhancements, address potential defects and provide environment certification,” said Mark Davis, Missouri WIC Customer Service Manager. “The WIC Technology Partners RFP website contains valuable information, and I encourage potential bidders to check it regularly.” (www.WICTechnologyPartners.com)
Jerilyn Malliet, National SPIRIT Program Manager for FNS, said, “With a nearly 2,500 percent growth, SPIRIT needs to continue making improvements in maintainability, speed, security and user training. The contract resulting from this RFP will go a long way toward ensuring continued viability of the system and establishing a framework for other, future State Agency Models.”
An “Industry Day” will be held on July 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. CDT (12:00 noon EDT) via Webex. To learn more about Industry Day, register, read a full synopsis of the SPIRIT Enhancement Service requirement, obtain updated information on the release of the RFP, view draft requirements documents and find other useful information, interested bidders should visit www.WICTechnologyPartners.com. Companies should register as soon as possible as space is limited. Attendance at the SPIRIT System Enhancement Industry Day is not a prerequisite to submit a proposal but is an important opportunity for potential bidders to ask questions.